tv Moyers Company PBS October 7, 2012 6:30pm-7:30pm PDT
. this week on "miers and company" politicians know a few words in spanish and they feel this is what we need to do to get the hispanic vote. there are actual issues and their positions on the issues that is going to decide whether they get the support or not. >> i call it the christopher columbus syndrome because every four years they rediscover us, hispani hispanics, and then they forget about us for three years and then they rediscover us again. >> announcer: funding is provided by carnegie corporation of new york, celebrating 100 years of philanthropy and committed to doing real and permanent good in the world. the coalberg foundation, independent production fund with support from the partridge
foundation, a john and poly guff fund. the cla meant foundation, park foundation. dedicated to heightening public awareness to public issues. the herb al per the foundation. their mission is to promote compassion in our society. the john d. and kathryn t. mcarthur foundation committed to building a more just, and peaceful world. more information at mak found.org. the bess see and jessie fink foundation. the h.k.h. foundation. barbara g. fleischmann and by our sole corporate sponsor, mutual of america, designing customized, individual, and group retirement products. that's kwl we're your retirement company. welcome. millions of us were waiting this week for mitt romney and barack obama to connect with reality, to connect with the lives we actually live.
it didn't happen. the 90-minute debate went by, for example, without a word about immigration. not a thing said about the countless people trapped in our muddled policy. and this in colorado, a swing state, where both romney and obama have been courting the large hispanic vote. that wouldn't have happened if my guest on this week's broadcast had been moderating the debate, but their participation was rejected by the tiny group of insiders who set the rules. that's a shame because george ram mows and maria elena sorena are two of the most popular journalists. they work for the most important spanish language network in the country, univision. i met them for the first time earlier this week when they were in town to receive the emmy award for lifetime achievement from the national academy of television arts and sciences. here's part of the video presentation that introduced them to the emmy audience. >> they're two of the most
well-recognized journalists in the united states. pioneers and advocates. for more than two decades maria and george have informed million of hispanics through the popular evening newscast. their brand of journalism is characterized not only by subjective and perspectives, but also by a high degree of social advocacy. in the last three decades both have covered a wide range of news and have witnessed history in the making. >> mexico, oh, yes. >> from presidential elections around the world to the most destructive natural disasters. maria has interviewed dictators, revolutionaries, world leaders,
heads of state in latin america, and in the united states. she was among the first female journalists to report from the war torn streets of baghdad. george has covered five wars and right after the terrorists attack on september 11th he drove all the way from miami to new york to report on the tragedy firsthand. once he even asked for a vacation to cover the war in afghanistan. an assignment that at the time the network deemed too dangerous. he's had very public encounters with venezuela's hugo chavez, with former cuban dictator fidel castro. the president of bolivia stood up after only six minutes of
questioning by him. both ramos and celines both moderated the first bilingual presidential debate. and most recently with the meet the candidates forum. but perhaps they are best known for defending the rights of immigrants by reporting on their plight and giving a voice to the voiceless. >> maria is the most recognized hispanic female journalist in the united states. in fact, "the new york times" called her the voice of hispanic america. among her many honors she has received four emmys plus the edward r. murrow award. you'll want to read her highly acclaimed member would i "i am my father's daughter living a life without secrets." george is the broadcast ter who will most determine the 2012 elections. just three years after he arrived at the united states in mexico, he was anchoring the
nightly news. one of the youngest national anchors ever. he has authored 11 books. a country for all, an immigrant manifesto. welcome to the two of you. >> translator: pleasure to be here. >> congratulations on the lifetime award. >> thank you. >> you were honored the other night as the top of your craft, our craft, and yet you weren't selected to moderate a presidential debate. do you think that you were not selected because, a, you do force politicians until they scream and because you're outspoken on immigration? >> i personally don't think that that's the reason why. first of all, we're not disrespectful, at least i've never been disrespectful. i don't think george is. asking tough questions is not disrespecting the office of the presidency or a political candidate or any politician for that matter. so i don't think that we were not chosen because of our style of entry. i think it was a lack of
understanding of the importance of the latino community. i think they don't understand how fast we're growing, how influential we have become and how politicians are now forced to respond to the issues that affect latinos. i think that they over saw that. i don't think they really paid attention. >> sometimes we are invisible and we are fighting so hard not to be invisible. the commission of presidential debates are stuck in the 1950s. they still think the country could be divided between men and women and that's it. they do not realize that one in every three persons in the united states is from a minority. they think it is okay it have an african-american president but they don't think it's okay to have an african-american or hispanic journalist as a moderator for the debates. what we did, it was our wonderful response to this oversight, this huge oversight. instead they didn't want to invite us to the party so we had
our own party. >> and that party turned out pretty good. >> so, yeah, maybe. >> you mean the presidential forums you're having? >> yes. >> which came after you were not selected for the debate. >> it ended up being better. >> the presidential commission for the debates is very close to the parties. they look at the polls, the numbers, the hispanic vote in states like north carolina could decide north carolina, could decide other swing states. they knew you represented a significant vote in this election. >> but how can you choose -- how can you not choose a representative from a minority in a country like this? >> that's what i'm asking you. >> i truly admire the work of the three moderators for the presidential debates and for the vice presidential debates. i personally admire their work. the u.s. is much more diverse than that. >> were you angry? were you hurt? >> we don't want to be invisible. we are not invisible. we are making sure that even
with an accent that people hear what we're saying. yes, of course. >> we are mainstreaming. you try to separate us from ethnic media and mainstream media. we are mainstream media. we compete directly with abc, nbc and cbs. in many states we have higher ratings. the difference between us and them, it's under the same category, is the language. we transmit in a different language, however, now we're changing that. >> what do you mean? >> we're changing that now because now we have the joint venture with abc and we are going to be doing the same thing that we're doing but do it in english so we can make sure we have all the market. the special thing about that is it's not only for that sector of latinos who is more english dominant and prefers to speak english, but i think it actually contributes to the society and to democracy in this country so that everyone who speaks english
in this country understands who latinos are, what are the issues that affect us. maybe they need to know what's going on with their neighbors south of the border. you know, here you have this continent that sometimes it seems that people in the north don't like to look south and they don't realize that we are one continent and that there's, what, over 300 million people that speak spanish and that affects us economically directly. >> what does it say that you're moving into the larger english speaking audience? >> what it's saying is that her daughters and my son and my daughter, they don't watch us because they feel much more comfortable in english. their friends don't watch us. their generation is not watching us so either we change or we're going to be out of here. and so there's always going to be a space in spanish. >> oh, yeah. >> but what -- there's been -- even within the hispanic community, something has been changing. we used to get the majority of
the growth because of immigration. that has changed. the border is stronger than ever. the number of undocumented immigrants has decreased from 12 million to 11 million so the majority of the growth is coming from within the hispanic community. >> u.s. born. >> u.s. born. that means most latinos, onjuan jose, pedro, they're speaking english. if we don't do something to attract them, they're going to watch you. >> i hope they do. >> i really don't think spanish is going to go anywhere. immigrants that came from europe in the last century, they came here wanting to get away from their country and decided they wanted to establish roots here. it's not that the latino americans don't want to establish roots here, but their country of origin is right next door. >> really. >> and there's this very special link that they have. and their cultural identity is
very strong. i remember when george and i started working in the media a few years ago people used to say, you should really try to make a cross over to english because there's no future in spanish. people will assimilate and there won't be an audience. 14 million hispanics then, 15 million hispanics then. i think they didn't understand. even though latinos have been assimilating, what they don't understand is that doesn't mean leaving behind your culture and your language but adopting a new one, embracing a new one. i think, you know, spanish isn't going anywhere. this is a very important part of the identity of the latino community. that's the one thing that does unite latinos, if you have some that are more conservative and, you know, more liberal, there's several things that separate. we said they're not monolithic but the one thing that does unite the latino community is the love of the language. >> you used over the word
latinos, latinas. most of us have become accustomed to saying hispanics. >> i know there's a lot of people who give a lot of credence to a label. >> we don't, right? >> you can call me whatever you want. you can call me chicano, mexican-american, latino, hispanic, as long as my ethnic culture is involved. i am very proud of being a latino. my daughters who were born here -- i was born in the u.s. my daughters were born in miami. they feel hispanic. >> it's interesting because just recently they did a wonderful study on how do we like to be identified and, first of all, people prefer -- latinos prefer to call themselves mexicans, puerto ricans, and then latino and third american. this is going to sound terrible to many, but that's the way it is. they feel much more comfortable saying its i'm mexicana or i'm
cuban even though there are so many differences within the hispanic communities. >> you were born in l.a. you came there as a young man, a student. i was intrigued to watch both of you age in the videos. >> oh, my god. brown hair. i still remember his brown hair. >> what has this country, what does this culture look like to a kid coming from mexico? >> it was a wonderful opportunity because this country gave me the opportunities that my country of origin couldn't give me. i was censored in mexico when i was 23 and 24. >> as a reporter? >> as a reporter. it was the usual thing in mexico. the government would say what you could say on the air and what you couldn't say on the air. i decided i didn't want to be that kind of reporter so i sold everything and came to the united states. just imagine that now i can talk to anyone without asking permission for anything. i had to leave my country because of that. it used to be said that the
powerful and the rich never leave their country, only those who need possibilities and those who are poor and those who are ambitious leave their countries. that's exactly what happened with me. i came here because i had to come here. something pushed me out of mexico and something pulled me from the united states. now i have two passports, but honestly i have to thank this country because it gave me all the wonderful opportunities. if i would have stayed in mexico, i don't know what would have happened but i would have been a very poor, sad and probably censored journalist. >> why did your parents come? >> my parents came in the 1940s and it was because my father wanted my -- to raise a family here and to have all these opportunities and to have all these possibilities. he wanted to continue his studies. you no you mentioned in the beginning i wrote a book that is called "i am my father's daughter, living a life without secrets "my father had been a
catholic priest. he left the priesthood and got married and moved to the u.s. i didn't find out about this until after he passed away so my book is sort of like a -- >> he kept it a secret? >> yes. it was an investigation into my own life, into my own background and to try to find out why he came here. he lived as an undocumented immigrant for a long time in the u.s. he was an intellectual. he had a doctorate degree in philosophy. he spoke six languages. he's not your prototype of an undocumented immigrant. people shouldn't rush to judge. >> there's a recent documentary called harvest of inquiry. it's directed by peter gedzos and based on a book by a colleague of mine yuan gonzalez. >> of course you really can't tell the story of latinos in america without dealing with the mexican population because mexicans are by far the largest group of the latino population
in the united states. most people are not aware that since 1820 when the united states first started gathering immigration statistics there has been no nation in the world that has sent more people to the united states than mexico. and we're talking about legal immigration. more legal mexican immigrants have come to this country since 1820 than the irish, than the germans, than the french, than any other population. the reality is that great swathes of the united states and the west were originally part of mexico. california, nevada, parts of utah, texas, new mexico, arizona, colorado. that was all the northern territory of mexico, and there were mexican citizens living on that land before it became part of the united states. as they say in south texas or in
northern new mexico, southern colorado, we didn't cross the border, the border crossed us. >> mexicans have a big presence here and they have had a big presence here. and it just does to show you how this country is a country of immigrants. so it's very difficult when you hear people say american values and american values are being threatened by the influx of immigrants from other countries. what american values? american values are values of immigrants that made this country. >> i'll throw out it's easy to argue for an open border, right, like the european community. it is never going to happen here. i don't think so. >> why? >> because the economic differences are so big. when an immigrant here in the united states can make in half an hour what they make a day in
mexico, about $5 a day. still immigration has to do with economic forces, it's an economic problem. i don't think i'll live to see an open border between mexico and the united states even though the internet and communications has made it possible. i don't think there's the political will to even discover that possibility. at one point when the europeans were discussing that many people thought that it would be a good idea but not anymore. i don't think it's going to happen. >> i don't either. i don't think why it's necessary. a lot of people think if you favor immigration reform that you favor open border. i don't think anyone is actually saying, yes, we should have an open border and let people come in and out whenever they want. i think this country and every country has a right to control their borders just like mexico has a right to control its border with guatemala. it's how you treat human beings when they cross over. as part of a comprehensive
immigration reform, you can have legal immigration that is more orderly. i don't think that is the issue of immigration reform. the issue of immigration reform is what do you do with people that already came here, what do you do with people that have roots in this country, that have children that were born in this country. what do you do with them and how do you treat them? >> the movement of people has been a constant in our human history. >> right. >> we just keep moving. >> whenever you have a country, a poor country next to a rich country, you will always have people trying, anywhere in the world, trying to make a better life, trying to come into the richer country looking for a better life. i think one thing needs to happen and this is one thing i would love to see. these countries that export immigrants, it needs to be strengthened. when are we going to see these latin american countries strengthened in democracy. their justice system. we can't continue to have so much crime in mexico. >> but what you're saying also
is very interesting because we can explain violence in mexico in part because of the united states. we have 22 million people in this country who are using drugs. 22 million people. >> right. >> and the last survey that i saw was reported on the people who have either used some kind of illicit drug in the last month. because of that drug, because of that consumption here in the united states, we have drug traffickers in mexico making sure they're bringing all the drugs from south america crossing central america and mexico to come to this country. in the last six years in mexico, 65,000 people died, were killed because of the drug war. and the united states has to take responsibility with the fact that there are people being killed in mexico in part because there are so many people here using drugs. and what amazes me is this is not an issue for romney or for
president barack obama even though president barack obama has spent $1 billion in drug programs and prevention, which is a huge amount of money. we have to take responsibility in this country for all the people being killed in mexico and central america. >> from each of you quickly, what are the priority issues as you see them in the hispanic community for this election? >> jobs and the economy is the number one issue. immigration, like we said, is the issue that moves the latino vote. >> what's the unemployment -- >> inspires them to vote. unemployment rate among latinos is 10.2%. >> it's been about 11% during the obama's presidency. but for latinos, the symbolic issue is immigration or else it's personal. it's not like an abstract issue. it's personal. either we are immigrants or we know someone who's an immigrant or we work with someone or our
neighbor's an immigrant. it's not abstract. it's very personal. >> why do so many anglos seem to resent hispanic immigrants more than they do others? >> i think that there's a couple of things there. i think that there's a certain feel of because there's the community that's growing so fast, they're sort of like a threat that our way of life is going to change and i don't think that they see immigrants as part of america. and, you know, the funny thing is the majority of hispanic -- well, all hispanic voters are u.s. citizens of course. why do they care about this immigration issue so much when there's a minority that's undocumented? it affects us as a community, as an image. it's spilled over. you can't tell the difference between who is legal and who isn't legal. >> there's so many, right. >> the demographic revolution.
when i got here, i don't know, 25, 30 years ago, 15 million latinos. >> in the early '80s there were 14 million. >> right now i think we're talking about 60 million. we are changing the face of america. it's not black and white anymore. we're changing the way we eat. i say this a lot, but people eat more tore teal las. we're changing the way people dance in this country, the way people speak. even an accent like mine has sort of been accepted and we're changing the way people vote. no one can make it to the white house without the hispanic vote. that's completely new. >> here's what conservatives tell me. they embrace law and order conceptually and they say we're talking about enforcing the law and if the law isn't enforced a society cannot hold itself cohesively together. the second thing they say is we can't have a cohesive, coherent country without a common language. if you have two peoples living
side by side speaking separate languages, you're not going to have a country. >> we heard the arguments. as far as the language is concerned, everyone knows english is the official language in the country. why is it necessary to make it official by law? i think there's more draw backs to that because, for example, in california when they tried to make english the official language it was virtually impossible. it didn't work. it was approved, but it didn't work. why? because you have so many different languages that are spoken there. besides spanish you have several asian languages. what would happen is in the schools, the schools would be forced to send all materials to parents in english when you have elderly who do not speak the language and who would feel more comfortable. it's very hard to do business. it's not necessary to make it the official language. we already know english is the official language in this country. in fact, most immigrant families want their children to succeed in life. they want them to speak english
so they can be successful. remember we are a very young society as far as hispanics are concerned. median age is 26. hispanic children are 25% of all children in the u.s. the future of this country is in the hands of latino children. it is to their benefit to learn the language north to progress. >> this is the only country in the world where i know there are people who think that it is better to speak one language instead of two. i really can't understand it. nothing's going to change. we're not succeeding. we're not creating a nation within a nation and what you nights this country? it is not language. i think what unites this country is this wonderful idea of freedom and possibilities. what strikes me is that even though the declaration of independence says that we are all equal, here we have 11 million who are not equal. forget about being second class citizens. they're not even third class
citizens. >> these are what critics would call illegal immigrants, undocumented immigrants. there are 11 million? >> they're not all mexicans and they're not all -- that's another thing. one of the reasons why it's so important to latinos is that immigrants -- the enforcement is usually in the southern border. you have over a million europeans, you have over a million africans, you have canadians, you have asians that are here illegally yet it seems that if all the undocumented immi grants were hispanic -- all of the enforcement is in the southern border. you do not see someone saying let's go and round up all blue eyed blond germans that are here illegally. it's only hispanic immigrants are considered a threat to the country. there is a negative tone to the rhetoric concerning the immigration issue. remember one of the things that changed was 9/11.
president bush was very much in favor, not of amnesty, but of an immigration solution. comprehensive immigration reform. >> he won 40% of the hispanic vote in 2004. >> exactly. >> the record for republicans. >> right. >> probably up to 44 probably. >> i remember meeting president bush a week to the day before 9/11. that day it was spoken in congress. >> our links are countless and ever growing. no two nations are more important to the immediate prosperity and well-being of one another than mexico and the united states. >> and it seems that there was an ambience where everyone, even very hard core conservatives seemed to favor the idea of immigration reform. then 9/11 happened and then
immigrants were upset even though hispanic immigrants, none of the terrorists crossed the border from the south. they all flew in and they flew in legally. >> do you think that was a natural reaction? >> it was a natural reaction but it really hurt. >> reaction of fear. did you take it personally? >> i think, yes, because after a while it became very negative against immigrants in the southern border, as if hispanic immigrants, mexican immigrants, south american immigrants were a threat to the security. >> the position changed. >> definitely. >> because every republican candidate with the exception of mitt romney since ron naltd reagan support immigration reform. of course, for many republicans that's called amnesty. romney doesn't support it, not yet. we'll see in all the debates, but we'll see if he changes or not his position. but the conversation changed because with george w. bush, he was for immigration reform with a path to citizenship.
immediately after that we got the rejection that would have given two million students the possibility of staying. then it was replicated in alabama and georgia. so instead of discussing the possibility of what to do with 11 million undocumented immigrants, here we have incredibly tough laws on immigrations and the approach changed completely. nowadays we're discussing only dream map probably or defer action by president barack obama when the conversation should have been much, much wider. >> i remember ronald regan was quite positive about immigration. he was quite pro hispanic. he gave amnesty the 3 million. >> yes. republicans were doing great. as you know, reagan used to say that latinos are republicans, they just don't know it. >> well, he did say that. he did say you have common values in regard to the family,
to religion. >> abortion. >> abortion. issues on that. >> gay marriage. they're very conservative. that's basically what changed everything. i remember reading an article where president bush was asked what was one of his biggest regrets. he said, not passing immigration reform. as a republican and having a republican congress he could not convince his own party to support immigration reform. we focus only on the undocumented immigrants. i think that that's -- that that's what's happening, that when people perceive latinos, first thing that pops into their mind is immigrants and undocumented immigrants or like they say illegal aliens which is a term we don't like to use. they don't realize that 74% are americans, are citizens either by birth or naturalized. so the majority of latinos are americans and we have a buying power of over a trillion
dollars. if latinos in the u.s. were a country, we would be the 14th largest economy in the world. they're 2.5 billion businesses that are latino owned. we are a very important part of this country. we contribute very much to the economy, to, you know, culturally in so many different ways. >> but something significant happened in 2010. i understand oe 9/11 changing the tone and the conversation but what happened that moved the republicans and the conservatives further to the marge beginnings. >> it was arizona. it was arizona. it was the realization that we were not going to get immigration reform and, therefore, the state thought that they needed to take action by themselves. >> senate bill 1070 absolutely murals federal law and we are being invaded by immigration in
the state of arizona. >> and then we have the sheriff. >> and we have governor -- >> we have a very conservative radio talk show hosts that have a lot of pull and they change the tone. >> there's the possibility for the republican party to reach latinos, as you mentioned, because of the values. but somehow the republicans had a wonderful opportunity in the year 2012 and they blew it because they had a president that didn't keep his promise on am migration, a president who has deported more immigrants than any other president in the history of the united states. 1.5 million. >> obama has deported? >> yes. then republicans instead of taking this and taking advantage of this situation and saying, you know, we're going to be the pro immigrant party. we're going to try to legalize 11 million or do something about it, instead of doing that they're talking about arizona being the model, deportation,
rejecting the dream act. >> what does it mean, self-deportation? >> that's impossible. >> how so? >> it's like they're doing it in arizona. they make it so difficult you can't have a job, if possible you can't get housing. your children if they go to school will have their background checked and you will just go back because you can't live here. you can't get a job. you can't live. you feel all this pressure. i think that's what they mean by self of deport. >> now you see the latest latino poll, 73% support barack obama and only 21% support mitt romney. if there's a magic number, it's 33%. >> 33 or 38% is what a republican needs to win. >> of the hispanic vote. >> of the hispanic vote. >> so if it's true that the latino vote will decide the election, then i guess right now we've been saved that president obama is going to win
re-election. >> does that surprise you given the fact that he has deported over a million hispanics, given the fact that he came late to the dream act, given the fact that you pressed him journalistically very hard on breaking his promise. >> he has supported -- he has definitely supported immigration reform. he definitely supports the dream act and that's a stark difference with mitt romney. >> you were tough on president obama when you asked him about why he broke his promise. >> we had to press president barack obama on a promise he made in 2008. he made a very important promise. he said that he was going to have an immigration proposal during his first year in office. >> can you do it in 100 days? >> i cannot guarantee that it's going to be in the first 100 days, but what i can guarantee is that we will have in the first year an immigration bill that i strongly support and that i'm promoting and that i want to move that forward as quickly as possible. >> in your first year? >> in my first year of office.
we're for getting the country was in deep recision. it was very difficult to move anything in congress, but again if you promise something, you better keep that promise otherwise we're going to ask you about it. >> you promised that and a promise is a promise. and with all due respect, you didn't keep that promise. >> i am happy to take responsibility for the fact that we didn't get it done. i didn't make a promise i would get everything done 100% when i was elected as president. what i promised was that i would work every single day as hard as i can. to make sure that everybody in this country, regardless of who they are, what they look like, where they come from, that they would have a fair shot at the american dream and i have -- that promise i've kept. >> what do you think now about his response? >> i think he was very honest with the response, but if he wants to us to go to the polls on november 6th, if they want something from us, we've got to
get something from them. if he promised that he was going to have during his office an immigration proposal, he had to do that. when he had control of both chambers of congress, when he had the super majority he decided to go another way. health care is fine. it's a political priority. i understand that. >> we agree on most things but we go different ways. >> what's the difference? >> i know he promised just like every politician promises. i don't think there was not a major effort. i do understand that for health reform you need 50 votes in the senate and that for immigration reform you needed 60 votes in the senate. i think maybe they could have been a little bit more forceful in the issue but i understand. >> do hispanics sometimes feel pandered to? as we speak the white house has announced president obama is going to california to dedicate
the see saar chavez memorial. >> i think we always have that sense. they're always pandering to latinos. it's not just now. it's always. you have politicians go to east l.a. on a parade wearing a sombrero. they go to miami and have a little drink. they do the things they feel, utter a few words in spanish and feel this is what we need to do to get the hispanic vote. sometimes they forget there are actual issues and their positions on the issues will decide whether they're going to get the support or not. >> i call it the christopher columbus syndrome. every four years they rediscover us, hispanics, and then they forget about us for three years and then they rediscover us again. >> yet, as the news reported this week, we discussed it earlier, this is still shocking. president obama holds a 73-21% lead over mitt romney among latino voters. that's up from the 65-26
advantage he held six weeks >> latino's will decide the election in colorado, nevada, north carolina, florida. >> because? >> because in a very close election latino voters tend to decide which way to vote. it happened in 2000 with president george w. bush in florida and it's going to happen again this year. >> there was a report from the pew hispanic center a few days ago saying a record 24 million, 24 million latinos are eligible to vote. >> right. >> but their turnout rate has consistently lagged behind whites and blacks. >> not that much. the latino decision polls are usually very accurate because they're polling specifically latino voters, registered voters and the unthus see amp level was very low. in the last poll it had increased to 82%. >> that's understandable. >> romney? >> no, we're getting a little bit closer to the election.
people are paying more attention to the election. when you see the polls and try to understand why the numbers are so different between romney and obama, you have to understand the great majority feel that democrats represent their interests and care about their issues more than republicans. and what has hurt republicans is that very negative rhetoric on the immigration issue. that has hurt republicans tremendously. and the fact that now they have a candidate for the first time like george said. even in the last ee lerks, mccain, all of the candidates have embraced candidate reform. this is the first time they've said i want it for legal immigration. he keeps emphasizing legal immigration thinking that latinos are so ignorant that they're going to buy it when he's talking about legal immigration and not finding a solution. i asked romney, with all due
respect the fact that you are not answering this question makes people feel like you are evading it. >> are you going to deport them if you become a president? >> we're not going to round up people around the country and deport them. this is something that's going to have to be worked out by republicans and democrats together. i will lead a program that gets us to a permanent solution as opposed to what was done by the president which with a few months before the election he puts in place something which is temporary, which does not solve this issue. i will solve it on a permanent basis consistent with those principles. >> and we still don't get an answer from him. that is one of the things that is hurting republicans. >> how did you come up with the question asking romney if he felt like he was an immigrant. >> are you sure you're not a hispanic? >> i think for political purposes that might have helped me here at the university of miami today. truth is, as you know my dad was born of american parents living in mexico but he came back to this country at age five or six
and he recognized this was the land of opportunity and he has been the role model and inspiration throughout my life. >> it is unthinkable for any latino to have a dad born in mexico and not to call himself a latino. obviously it's much more complicated. they decided to go because of -- >> his grandfather went down there because he was a polygamist. he wanted more than one wife. i watched it. he was honest. i could tell you i'm an immigrant but that would be disingenuous. >> i think that was right. if he would call himself a latino, that 21% would go to 15. doesn't work that way. we have to find out who's the real mitt romney, the one who talked about that he didn't care about -- he didn't have to worry about the 47% of the people or the one who told us in a meeting that he wants to be the president for 100% of americans. that's the challenge for him?
>> have you seen the ad by one of his sons? have you seen that ad. >> yes. yes. >> craig rom any. . >> it's very good. it's very, very good. now if all latino voters were to base their decisions solely on this one ad, i think romney's numbers would be much higher because he touched on the fact that his father was born in mexico, he touched upon the fact that his father wants a permanent solution to the immigration issue, but once they see interviews like ours, once somebody asks him to be more specific about latino issues,
that's where he doesn't come through. >> at the end we are getting smarter. the hispanic community is getting smarter and more powerful and stronger because just a few years ago, a few elections ago we would have bought anything and by that i mean -- >> a few words in spanish. >> we just wanted to say ola, buenos noches. >> wow, he spoke in spanish. >> george w. bush, he was incredibly effective. he was the first u.s. president who thought that he spoke spanish. but he made so many mistakes in spanish but he really didn't care because he made a true honest effort to communicate in spanish. it worked for him. not only that, he had the right idea on immigration. >> exactly. >> but now we appreciate ads in spanish, but it's not enough. you have to give us much more than that. a true idea, a promise, a plan,
a program. >> it's a much more sophisticated election than before. >> when you press these candidates journalistically, do you do so knowing that you're constantly referred to as the voice of hispanic america, which you have been referred to? do you frame your questions that way? i mean, very respective, influential magazine in washington this summer, the headline, forget rachel, bill o'reilly, anderson cooper, the broadcaster who will most determine the 2012 elections is george ramo. >> it is a stretch. no, but, you know, i -- did you get to know the italian journalist? >> i did enviously because she could ask questions in a ferocious way. >> i think i learned from her a
lot. i once saw her at the iraq war. i didn't have the courage to tell her that because of her i became a journalist, but if you remember her and her wonderful interview with history, she used to say that the interview should be like an arm, like a weapon, and that in an interview an interview is a war between the interview we and the interviewer. obviously some interviews are just for information, but sometimes when you're confronting the powerful, you really have to do that. i am completely convinced that the most important social role of journalists is to confront those who are in power and to be as far from power and you know that. you were in power. >> i discovered after i came into journalism after the white house that the closer you are to the truth is more important than you are to power. >> let me declare on you for a minute. univision is constantly referred to by the republicans as a
democratic leaning if not pro left news organization. >> we have democrats as being -- for being republicans. >> the chairman of the american conservative union,al cardena, says, quote, univision is headed and owned by some so he physician particular they have turned it into great power with a leave leaning message. do you see yourself as the msnbc? >> let me tell you something, i have been working for univision for 31 years. i have gone through five different owners. he's talking about the owners in the last three years. besides, when you look at our management, they are so buried and they never get involved in our coverage. not once has someone come and told us this is what you have to say, this is what you have to do, this is what our editorial position is. >> a phone call from anyone, from a ceo telling me what to say and whatnot to do. you know what i really love is that we're being criticized from
both sides. >> yes. >> republicans might not like us because of what we're saying about their immigration position or because of some of the coverage that we have and on the other hand just ask the white house if they're happy with our interview with president barack obama, we're not. >> i'm there to ask questions and get answers. if i don't, a typical politician doesn't answer questions. if you don't get the answer the first time you have to ask it again and again and again in as many ways as you can in order to get the answer you want to serve your community. that's what our voel really. >> had you two been selected to moderate one of these presidential debates, couple of questions. what would you ask him? >> we would stress immigration. what would they do with 11 immigrants. i want to know what his red line on iran. i want to find out about how well you're going to create 23 million new jobs in this country. i want them to tell me about
this relationship with mexico. how many more people are being killed in mexico. we're going to change our problems here in the united states. >> drug war? >> drug war. what's the relationship with chavez. is he a threat to national security? >> yes. those are the questions that we asked them in the debate. >> china and cuba. we have this very special trade relationship with china. why don't we have the same one with cuba? there are so many different questions. and obviously a little more personals on taxes and promise the. >> yeah. you have been a team now for 25 years. >> right. >> the most successful team, i would say, since huntly brinkley whom you don't remember. i do. long-running team. very successful. what's next for you as journalists? >> i think that making that transition into english language and being able to reach all
audiences and what i mean is not only hispanics that speak english but all audiences, to understand who we are. i think to elevate the position of latinos in this country and the role of latinos in this society is something that we sort of take on as a mission. >> to stay relevant it's very challenging right now to stay relevant when you have the internet, when you have social media. it's very difficult that your voice stays relevant and nothing gets lost among the noise. i think that's one of the most important things. and finally it has to do with trust. after 25 or 30 years if we say something and people trust what we say, that's the best a zblard maria and george, this has been a pleasure. >> thank you very much. >> our pleasure too.
>> the war in afghanistan was going badly. he knew because he was fighting it. 26 years old with a wife and child back home, staff sergeant seton was on his third combat tour there, his third. time and again he and his men were sent through what he called a mine field on a daily basis. his comrades were being blown apart. at least one amputee a day, he said, because we are walking around aimlessly through compounds that are littered with explosives. morale was low. the men struggled to remain alert. seton said he asked his officers to give them a break but was told to stop complaining. i'm all for getting on the ground and fighting for my country when there's a desired instinct and we have a clear guidance he wrote, but when we are told to walk around for a certain amount of time, not sitting well with me. at home in florida matt seton
had attended a christian school run by the baptist church attended by congressman bill young. he wrote congressman young and told him what was happening. i'm concerned about the well-being of my soldiers, he said. i just want to return my guys home to their families healthy. he ended, if anything, please pray for us over here. god bless. on the 2nd of august while on patrol matt seton and a buddy were killed, blown apart by an ied, a hidden bomb. they flew his body home and held his funeral at that same baptist church. for a long time before matt seton died congressman young called for sticking it out in afghanistan, the powerful chairman of the appropriations subcommittee on defense, a
republican helped continue the war by voting against the house amendment requiring the president to set a timetable for withdrawal. he's changed his mind. touched by what matt seton wrote him he asked that the letter be read into the congressional record and has been talking to other veterans, hearing from them what a real mess the war is. now he tells the tampa bay times, i think we should remove ourselves from afghanistan as quick a as we can. i just think we're killing kids that don't need to die. killing the kids that don't need to die. let those words sink in and this too. congressman young says, many of his colleagues in congress feel the same way he does but they tend not to want to go public. there are two more presidential debates. they will be yet another hoax unless someone puts the question
to barack obama and mitt romney, why are we killing kids that don't need to die and then ask it over and again until they don't need to die and then ask it over and again until they have no choice but to go public. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com that's it for this week. on our next edition of "moyers and company" meet the adventure remember who has gone to the top of the earth to take the earth's temperature and some beautiful photographs. from the vanishing areas of north. we're talking about global warming. >> that landscape is gone. it may never be seen again in the history of civilization. climate changes are not imaginary, not theoretical, not
based on computer models. it's right there in front of you. >> there is more at bill moyers.com. i'll see you there and i'll see moyers.com. i'll see you there and i'll see you here next time. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com de nrns don't wait a week. to get more moyers visit bill moyers.com for exclusive blogs, essays and video features. this episode is available on dvd for $19.95. to order call or write to the address on your screen. funding is provided by carnegie corporation of new york celebrating 100 years of
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became a surprise bestseller in 1999. this poem, a partial history of my stupidity, was inspired by a czeslaw milosz poem in which milosz claimed that a history of his own stupidity could fill many volumes. >> traffic was heavy coming off the bridge and i took the road to the right, the wrong one, and got stuck in the car for hours. most nights i rushed out into the evening without paying attention to the trees, whose names i didn't know, or the birds, which flew heedlessly on. i couldn't relinquish my desires or accept them, and so i strolled along like a tiger that wanted to spring but was still afraid of the wildness within. the iron bars seemed invisible to others, but i carried a cage around inside me. i cared too much what other
people thought and made remarks i shouldn't have made. i was silent when i should have spoken. forgive me philosophers, i read the stoics but never understood them. i felt that i was living the wrong life, spiritually speaking, while halfway around the world thousands of people were being slaughtered, some of them by my countrymen. so i walked on--distracted, lost in thought-- and forgot to attend to those who suffered far away, nearby. forgive me, faith, for never having any. i did not believe in god, who eluded me.